As the leaves fall and the colder temperatures set in, the excitement of the upcoming holidays begins. For the children, teenagers and adults who celebrate, Halloween is a fun holiday embraced by many. However, with a slew of trick-or-treaters moving about the streets, the risk of being injured in an accident increases on Halloween. Therefore motorists, Halloweeners, and homeowners need to take additional precautions to ensure that it remains a spooky yet safe night.
Dressing Ghosts and Goblins for Safety
One of the most important things parents can do to help mitigate a potential danger is to ensure their children are visible and remain aware of their surroundings. These teaching moments extend year-round and are particularly important during the winter months during periods of early sunsets, poor weather conditions and reduced visibility.
While dressing up is paramount, it is important to ensure that any costumes and clothing fit properly and do not create tripping hazards. A mask can also create visual impairments, so the mask must have a clear sightline. If a mask does create safety concerns, a facepaint approved by Health Canada may be an alternative option. Further, bright colour costumes, or the addition of reflective tape, glow sticks or flashlights, can help ensure their visibility to motorists. If additional layers are required to be worn for warmth on top of a costume, ensure that these clothing items also have a form of reflective material.
Costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible materials, and all costume components should be made of non-flammable materials. Footwear choices should also be non-slip and appropriate for the weather conditions.
Pedestrian Safety Reminders
Pedestrian safety rules may be forgotten in the excitement of gathering treats. That is why it is important to remind children that they walk on the sidewalk, where provided, and do not run between parked cars on the street. In subdivisions where there is no sidewalk, ensure that children walk on the side of the road facing traffic to promote their visibility to oncoming vehicles. When crossing the street, it is important to teach children to ensure that they only cross at street corners, look both ways, and ensure no cars are coming before crossing. Furthermore, avoid taking shortcuts through alleyways or unpopulated areas, and stay on main roads or a pre-planned route around others. There is additional safety in numbers; therefore, try to move about the night in larger groups as an additional visibility precaution whenever possible.
All pedestrians need to remain conscious of the weather, as piles of wet leaves or icy walkways can create slip and fall hazards.
Increased Risk of Pedestrian Collisions
According to the Alberta Traffic Collision Statistics in 2019, pedestrian casualty collisions are more likely to occur in October. Drivers must take precautions in their daily driving; however, Halloween night exponentially increases the number of people on the roads and can create additional dangerous situations; therefore, make sure that you turn your headlights on and stay alert while on the road.
Drivers need to ensure that they adhere to all the rules of the road, including posted speed limits, stop signs and traffic signals. It is also important for drivers to be aware that some costumes may create visual and/or hearing impairments for the individuals wearing them. When driving in neighbourhoods while trick-or-treaters are out, ensure that speeds are reduced and keep an extra sharp lookout for anyone jaywalking unexpectedly.
Defensive Driving for Safety
Distracted driving, while a dangerous activity on any day, can be particularly dangerous on Halloween night. While it may be easy to become distracted by costumes or property decorations, it is essential to keep your eyes on the road, not check your cell phone, avoid loud music, and try not to engage in debates or animated conversations with passengers, particularly while driving in neighbourhoods with high traffic of Halloweeners.
If you drive while wearing a costume, ensure that it does not impair vision or hearing or restrict movement, which might interfere with your ability to operate the vehicle safely. If you plan to attend a party, ensure that you plan your transportation ahead of time and do not drive impaired.
Minimize Property Hazards
Vehicles are not the only potential danger on Halloween. For homeowners handing out candy, it is important to ensure that you provide a clear, well-lit pathway to welcome trick-or-treaters. Turning on porch lights and keeping driveways, lawns, and other pathways clear of tripping hazards and obstacles, such as decorations, will allow an easy flow of foot traffic.
If weather conditions create potential hazards, ensure that appropriate care is given to lawn, driveway and porch maintenance by clearing leaves or salting and sanding as appropriate. It is also important to ensure that porches, railings and stairs are in good working condition to support anyone coming up for a treat.
You can read more about Halloween safety from Health Canada.
Cuming & Gillespie Personal Injury Lawyers Are Experienced in Helping Clients Involved in Halloween Pedestrian Accidents or Slip and Falls
At Cuming & Gillespie, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in assisting clients in the event of a pedestrian collision, car accident or slip and fall. Our lawyers will take care of your claim from start to finish and will help you navigate the legal aspects after an accident. We will advocate on your behalf to obtain fair and just compensation, thereby allowing you to focus on your health, wellness and recovery primarily. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Calgary, we have assisted clients throughout Alberta for over 20 years. If you or a loved one suffer an injury on Halloween, contact us online or call us at 403-571-0555 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.